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Two poems

"The Salton Sea" and "Connections in the Digital Age, Or, One Hundred and Forty-Three Words"

The Salton Sea
The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea

  • I am standing here at the end of the world
  • the end of everything and you are not here
  • I walk through the rain as droplets cut and jab
  • at my eyes and face seared by the wind
  • surrounded by the remains of shelters once used by
  • families to provide leisure and comfort now in ruins
  • past the decaying birds whose days of flight have
  • long passed before I came to realize I could also fly
  • towards crushed fish who despite trying desperately to swim
  • against the current of time have become part of the shore
  • to the waters where I submerge myself into the desolate beautiful
  • landscape and watch as tiny spines float up around my body
  • waves crash against my face almost pulling me under perhaps
  • in an attempt at a last minute baptism a last minute salvation
  • when one’s world ends is there really any other person that
  • you can blame than yourself for the part you took in it
  • when regret tastes saltier and bloodier than any ravaged sea
  • there is nothing left to do but to swim in it until you can no longer
  • then wash back up to shore even more defeated only to stand up take
  • a look around to see if anyone bore witness and casually walk away
  • I came to the end of the world to find you but you are not here
  • because your world has not yet ended and so you kept going

Connections in the Digital Age Or, One Hundred and Fourty-Three Words

  • She told me with a laugh that Pablo
  • Picasso started following her on twitter.
  • Jokingly I texted back asking if she
  • knew that Mr. Picasso was not with us.
  • With an emoji and eight characters she had
  • nonchalantly strung together she said of course.
  • Even if he were alive I don’t feel like he
  • would waste his time using twitter she said.
  • Or even if he did he would use it for something
  • greater than all these “modern day celebrities” do.
  • It would be for social change. No! it would be for
  • revolutionary art! We both replied simultaneously.
  • With a few characters typed into tiny screens broadcasting
  • into satellites before crashing back to earth we had connected.
  • Wavelengths of random thoughts in different places
  • we were running at the same frequency of beauty.
  • All in a matter of one hundred and fourty-three words.

Zachary Jensen is a writer, journalist, and educator from Los Angeles, CA. He currently teaches English at Cal State University Northridge. His work has recently appeared in LA Record, Cultural Weekly, Entropy, Pank, and other places. He is the managing editor of Angel City Review and the editor for the Animals chapbook series at Business Bear Press.

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The Yoda Code

“Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they.”
The Salton Sea
The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea

  • I am standing here at the end of the world
  • the end of everything and you are not here
  • I walk through the rain as droplets cut and jab
  • at my eyes and face seared by the wind
  • surrounded by the remains of shelters once used by
  • families to provide leisure and comfort now in ruins
  • past the decaying birds whose days of flight have
  • long passed before I came to realize I could also fly
  • towards crushed fish who despite trying desperately to swim
  • against the current of time have become part of the shore
  • to the waters where I submerge myself into the desolate beautiful
  • landscape and watch as tiny spines float up around my body
  • waves crash against my face almost pulling me under perhaps
  • in an attempt at a last minute baptism a last minute salvation
  • when one’s world ends is there really any other person that
  • you can blame than yourself for the part you took in it
  • when regret tastes saltier and bloodier than any ravaged sea
  • there is nothing left to do but to swim in it until you can no longer
  • then wash back up to shore even more defeated only to stand up take
  • a look around to see if anyone bore witness and casually walk away
  • I came to the end of the world to find you but you are not here
  • because your world has not yet ended and so you kept going

Connections in the Digital Age Or, One Hundred and Fourty-Three Words

  • She told me with a laugh that Pablo
  • Picasso started following her on twitter.
  • Jokingly I texted back asking if she
  • knew that Mr. Picasso was not with us.
  • With an emoji and eight characters she had
  • nonchalantly strung together she said of course.
  • Even if he were alive I don’t feel like he
  • would waste his time using twitter she said.
  • Or even if he did he would use it for something
  • greater than all these “modern day celebrities” do.
  • It would be for social change. No! it would be for
  • revolutionary art! We both replied simultaneously.
  • With a few characters typed into tiny screens broadcasting
  • into satellites before crashing back to earth we had connected.
  • Wavelengths of random thoughts in different places
  • we were running at the same frequency of beauty.
  • All in a matter of one hundred and fourty-three words.

Zachary Jensen is a writer, journalist, and educator from Los Angeles, CA. He currently teaches English at Cal State University Northridge. His work has recently appeared in LA Record, Cultural Weekly, Entropy, Pank, and other places. He is the managing editor of Angel City Review and the editor for the Animals chapbook series at Business Bear Press.

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